Valerija Milieškaitė was born in a peasant family in Bružai village, Tirkšliai rural district, Mažeikiai county. From 1940 to 1944, Valerija was a pupil at Mažeikiai gymnasium. After the war she moved to Kaunas where she worked at the geophysical observatory and later at Kaunas State Conservatoire. In 1948, she finished Kaunas 3rd gymnasium for adults and became a student at the Faculty of Law of Vilnius University. While there, she joined an underground organisation. She was arrested in January 1949 and sentenced to imprisonment in a gulag in Magadan. She was released in 1959. In the same year she wrote to Vilnius University from Magadan asking for her school-leaving certificate to be sent to her as she intended to study in another institution of higher education. She returned to Lithuania in 1959.